Air Force surprises Dr. Phillips safety Matt Milano with his 1st offer

Dr. Phillips safety Matt Milano thought Thursday’s phone call from Air Force running backs coach Ben Miller would be a routine recruiting conversation.

He was wrong.

Miller asked Milano (6-1, 190) if he had any college offers yet. Milano told him he was drawing lots of interest, but had no offers.

“Well, we’re offering you,” Miller told Milano. “We want you here, you’re the number one safety on our list.”

Milano was shocked. He knew that Air Force had requested his transcripts, but news of his first offer took him by surprise.

“I didn’t know they were interested in me at first,” Milano said. “When they offered me, I didn’t know what to say at first … they just came out of the blue.”

Ranked No. 25 in the Sentinel’s 2013 Central Florida Super60, Milano might want to get a prepared speech ready for when coaches call with offers, because there will be others.

As instinctual a player there is in the area, Milano’s blend of tenacity, intelligence, overall athleticism (105.51 Nike SPARQ score) and production (123 tackles in 2011) is beginning to get him increased attention. He attended UCF’s spring practice last weekend, plans on attending Rutgers’ spring game and will head out to Boise State April 14th for the school’s junior day and spring game -- that, of course, is where former teammate and family friend Nick Patti is a freshman quarterback.

UConn and Michigan State have also been actively recruiting him.

Milano said he plans on researching more about Air Force, but likes what he’s heard about the football program and school.

“You learn a lot from doing all that, not just football but also the military side of it as well,” he said.

When asked about the rigorous boot camps newcomers to Air Force must endure, Milano responded with a chuckle and “yeah, I think I can handle it.”

After all, he was on his way to train with Tom Shaw, one of the nation’s preeminent speed and agility coaches, so boot camp probably sounded easy compared to his upcoming workout.

With his first offer in hand, Milano is optimistic that other schools will take notice. At the very least, it’s a huge relief to have one school committed to him.

“It means a lot to me that they were the first ones that they saw [something] in me,” Milano said of Air Force. “I hope more come from that. Hopefully other schools see something in me too.”

Brendan Sonnone is the Sentinel's recruiting correspondent and can be reached at Follow Brendan on Twitter at @BSonnone or Facebook at Brendan Sonone or at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting.

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